Monday, 28 February 2011

Hunting Variety!

I don't know if you guys (variety nuts) know about the existance of watermark variety for the 70s Orang Asli stamp. The Orang Asli stamp set was released on September 27, 2010. The normal watermark for these stamps is SPM upright. However, SPM inverted is also recorded for the 70s stamp. Some post offices are still selling these Orang Asli stamps, and if you have not got it yet, you may need to try your luck hunting for this SPM inverted 70s. Well, if you are lazy to hunt for this variety at post offices, you should know where you could get it at a premium..... hehehehehe

2011 - Suzuki Cup

Pos Malaysia released a set of stamps on February 28, 2011 to commemorate the success of Malaysian football team in obtaining the Suzuki Cup. The stamp set containing two stamps with denomination 60 sen each.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Something Deep Inside......

I got my first few stamps at the tender age of 8, and I didn't know that these few stamps would have destined my long philatelic journey then. Believe it or not, those first few stamps were actually postally used stamps collected from dustbins in a school office.... Well, my father was a primary school teacher, and we were not that well off so that my family decided to stay in staff hostel provided by the school. The staff hostel was located within the school compound, and we siblings went to the same school where we stayed. The thing I liked most staying in staff hostel was that I could wake up in the morning half an hour before the school session commenced because my classroom was just 50 m away from my little sweet bed.

My father noticed my new interest on stamps, he used his limited salary to buy me a small China-made stamp album. I was like a spoilt kid playing with my little stamp album. For the next 2-3 years I collected so many postally used Harrison butterfly stamps from the school dustbins. My album was so full with Harrison butterfly stamps, and I started to hate these Harrison butterfly stamps! Then, one of my primary school teachers gave me a few dozens worldwide used stamps. I didn't know how he got them, but these worldwide used stamps were generally in small size from all over the world. Nevetheless, I was extremely happy with these small sized used worldwide stamps, and I was so proud to show my these worldwide stamps to many of my school peers. Many years later only I knew that these worldwide used stamps that given by my school teacher were actually junk stamps.... hahahahahaha. Eventhough what given were junk stamps, I'm still very much thankful and grateful to him as without these junk stamps you might not be reading this article.

I got my first FDC (of course Malaysia one) in 1983 - the hornbill stamps. I went to my local post office (Sungai Siput) to buy just a set of stamps and a blank cover. I made myself the FDC. I didn't buy any mint hornbill stamps to keep, not because I didn't like the mint stamps. My family was still strugling to make a living, and I was so thrilled that my father gave me RM2 for making possible this hornbill FDC! I didn't buy mint stamps, and I didn't make FDC for every issue because I was shy to ask my father for money... the money was more important for the livelihood of the family than the FDC.

The family livelihood was getting better from 1984 onwards. I did get more pocket money from my father for my school food. From time to time, I tried to save the money for my FDCs. I even ventured further into buying mint stamps from stamp dealers. I got my first stamp purchase from International Stamp and Coin Sdn Bhd in 1984. I bought the Olympics stamps and miniature sheet of PR China. I opened a SODA with Pos Malaysia in 1990, but the account was frozen in 1995 due to insufficient fund. Another reason for the SODA frozen was because I departed to the UK for my postgraduate study in 1995.

One important event worth to mention here was that I visited to KL 92 Stamp Exhibition. It was a very important milestone for the philately of Malaysia because for the very first time Malaysia was holding an international stamp event. At the time I was studying at UKM, therefore I could make daily trips to Kuala Lumpur to visit to the stamp exhibition.

I set my feet again on the soil of Malaysia in November 1998 after 3-4 years of soaking myself in the water of the UK. Immediately, I joined Philatelic Society of Malaysia in 1999 as a life member. In 1999, I was a working adult then, and I managed to pay the life membership fee without problem though my finance was still very tight. I needed to pay my car loan, I needed to pay my house rent, and my salary was low. So, my purchasing power on stamp was still low.

Time flies, I have been in stamp collecting for 33 years. It may not be long enough compared to my many stamp collector fellows in Malaysia of whom I meet regularly during PSM stamp fairs and PSM stamp auctions.... I don't know why my mind has been wondering for the last few months if I need to quit stamp collecting. Years ago, I told myself that stamp is my life, but today I beg to make a change - stamp is not everything...........

Friday, 25 February 2011


Pos Malaysia released a set of insect stamps and a miniature sheet on July 7, 2007. The miniature sheet was later overprinted for stamp exhibition Bangkok 2007. I was understood that 10,000 copies of overprinted miniature sheet were printed. This number of printing is normal for almost all the overprinted miniature sheets since year 2005. Pos Malaysia brought all the 10,000 copies of this miniature sheet to Bangkok 2007 for sale. Unexpectedly, it was all sold out during the stamp exhibition leaving none for home collectors (no sale at Philatelic Unit at home). So, this overprinted miniature sheet becomes a hot item. A hot item is not neccessary a rare item. This Bangkok 2007 overprinted miniature sheet is nowhere near rare, but it is selling as high as USD80 in eBay or some internet sites. I think the price (up to USD80) is crazy. However, at home in Malaysia the market price is said RM70 per copy. I was lucky to get it from a friend at RM20 in 2008.

top: original miniature sheet; bottom: overprinted (Bangkok 2007) miniature sheet

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Domestic Cover

Bird Definitives issued on May 14, 2005 are beautiful and elegant. The original print (click here to see the differences between the original prints and the reprints) of the bird definitive stamps was issued in the format of sheet-of-20. I believe that most of these original prints (stamps from sheet-of-20) were in the hand of collectors, and I was just wondering how many of these original prints have actually been used postally. Below is a cover (postage 75s for letter weighed below 100 gm) cancelled on August 3, 2005 by Sungai Siput Post Office. One of the stamps on the cover is a 40s bird definitive.

Monday, 21 February 2011

2011 - Highland Tourist Spots

Pos Malaysia released the second stamp issue for year 2011 on February 21, 2011. Four stamps depicting popular tourist spots in Malaysia were issued - Penang Hill (50s), Cameron Highlands (60s), Mt. Mat Cincang (90s) and Kundasang (RM1). Pos Malaysia also released a set of four maxicards for this issue.

Note added on February 22, 2011
I kind of have visited to all the places depicted on the stamps. I was at Penang Botanic Garden in 1984. The Penang Botanic Garden is located at the foothill of Penang Hill, but I didn't go up to Penang Hill. The last time I visited to Cameron Highlands (up to Mt. Beringchang) was in September 2008. I was at Cameron Highlands for dragonflies! I visited to Mt. Mat Cincang in August 2007. I took the cable car to go up to Mt. Mat Cincang. I was thrilled to overview the historical and turbulent Adaman Sea from Mt. Mat Cincang. I was at Mt. Mat Cincang also because of dragonflies! The last time I passed through Kundasang was in November 2010. I was passing through Kundasang on my way to Imbak Canyon for dragonflies as well! It looks like my life is all about dragonflies.... I live with dragonflies and I will die with dragonflies....hehehehehe

Friday, 18 February 2011

State Definitive Agro Based Sen

State definitive Agro Based stamps were issued on October 25, 1986. In the early of 2000s, Pos Malaysia was planning to replace these state definitive stamps with new defintive stamps. The plan of having new definitive stamps had been delayed a few times, and not until May 14, 2005 only we saw the light of the new definitive stamps (bird definitives). The Agro Based state defintives had been printed at adhoc basis while waiting for the emergence of the new bird definitives. In 2003, the printing of these Agro Based stamps become "extremely" adhoc, particularly for denomination 30c, and only a few states had their 30c Agro Based printed, i.e. Pulau Pinang, Kedah, Selangor, Wilayah Persekutuan, Johor and Pahang. The Agro Based stamps printed at that period had denomination inscribed in "sen" instead of "c". The Agro Based sen (except the Wilayah Persekutuan) lasted only for a short life when the new bird definitives came out finally on May 14, 2005. Many collectors were caught off by the very short life of these Agro Based sen as most collectors thought that these stamps would flood the market like the normal Agro Based stamps (denomination inscribed in "c"). Collectors just couldn't be bothered by the presence of these Agro Based sen stamps. So, most of these Agro Based sen stamps were purchased by companies and offices for sending bulk mail. I believe these bulk mail were most likely ended up in dust bins or the stamps maybe just cut off from the covers/mail as kiloware, and some of them (used stamps) maybe just ended up in stamp albums of young/kid collectors. Therefore, Agro Based sen stamps on commercial covers (for the period 2002-2005) could be very much less common.

These Agro Based sen stamps (30 sen) were printed for Pulau Pinang, Kedah, Selangor, Wilayah Persekutuan, Johor and Pahang states. However, all these Agro Based sen stamps of different states were sold at post offices throughout the country regardless the state. Therefore, one may see the Kedah Agro Based sen with Butterworth (Pulau Pinang) postmark or Johor Agro Based sen with Kuantan (Pahang) postmark. Worth to note here that the earliest serial number (on the margin of sheet-of-100) for these Agro Based sen stamps is 2002/01. Serial number 2002/01 has been recorded for Pahang and Wilayah Persekutuan Agro Based sen (information from Johnson Sau). Therefore, these Agro Based sen stamps were printed as early as 2002. Currently, the market price for these Agro Based sen stamps (except Wilayah Persekutuan) is RM6 per a single mint copy.

Butterworth 02; date: September 26, 2003

Butterworth 01; date: November 10, 2003

Sungai Petani; date: February 10, 2004

Bukit Raja 01; date: August 28, 2003

Kuantan; date: May 18, 2004

Butterworth 02; date: February 13, 2004

Bukit Raja 03; date: December 30, 2003

Kuala Lumpur 05; date: October 11, 2002

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Postmark - NMC Shah Alam

I like this postmark of NMC Shah Alam. This cancellation is for large sized envelops.